No matter their age or level of activity, men and women are both at risk for bone and joint problems. It’s important to know the specific risks you face, as men and women are prone to different conditions and injuries and therefore need different recovery plans.
In honor of Men’s Health Month, we’re here to help you learn about the health risks facing men and how you can prevent them..
Muscles and tendons
Men are more prone to soft-tissue injuries including the following:
- Achilles tendon
- Distal biceps
- Quadriceps and pectoral tendons
In fact, distal biceps tendon ruptures and Achilles tendon injuries are almost exclusive to men.
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Osteoporosis in men
Osteoporosis is a disease that causes the skeleton to weaken and makes the bones more susceptible to breaks. While it is often thought of as a problem that only women face, doctors say this is not true, and that men actually are more likely to suffer major complications from osteoporosis-related injuries. After a man has been diagnosed with osteoporosis, his doctor may prescribe one of the FDA-approved medications for the disease. A treatment plan will likely also include nutrition, exercise and lifestyle guidelines to prevent further bone loss.
- Primary causes: Set on by age-related bone loss, but the majority of men with osteoporosis have at least one secondary cause.
- Secondary causes: Include certain lifestyle behaviors, diseases and medications. For a list of possible secondary causes of osteoporosis in men, click here – http://bit.ly/2sIzZZH (need a more direct link)
While less research has been done on osteoporosis in men than in women, doctors agree that there are definite steps men can take to prevent the disease’s onset.
- Avoid excessive smoking and drinking
- Increase your level of physical activity
- Ensure a daily calcium intake appropriate for your age
- Ensure an adequate intake of vitamin D
- Engage in regular weight-bearing exercise
- Discuss with your doctor the use of medications that are known to cause bone loss, such as glucocorticoids
- Recognize and seek treatment for any underlying medical conditions that affect bone health
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Going to the doctor
Overall, men have a lot of tough facts facing them concerning their health – statistically speaking, men die earlier than women, are more likely to die from eight of the 10 leading causes of death in the United States than women, and are more likely to smoke and drink excessively than women. Researchers attribute men’s earlier deaths to a number of different factors, but one stands out because of its incredibly simple fix: Men just don’t go to the doctor as often as women do.
Studies have found that a mixture of busyness, fear, shame and discomfort were the top reasons men identified as keeping them from the doctor.
How often a man should go to the doctor for preventative checkups depends heavily on their age and weight. For this reason, it’s important for men to talk to their doctors about working out a schedule for checkups and screenings. The following is a typical schedule for regular check ups.
- Blood pressure check – Every two years between ages 18 and 39
- Diabetes screening – Every three years after age 45
- Cholesterol and heart disease prevention screening – Every five years after age 35
No matter what excuse a man may have for not going to the doctor, it never outweighs the importance of his health. Learn about the specific risks you face and discuss them with your doctor regularly.
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